Virginia football team to face new FBS member James Madison in 2023 | Sports

His new teammates were quick to ask what everyone in the locker room was wondering when D’Angelo Amos arrived in Virginia after playing for James Madison.

Amos spent four years and was an All-American FCS punt returner and safety with the Dukes before transferring to play his final season of eligibility for the Cavaliers in 2020.

“I remember when I first came to UVa, they kept asking me, ‘Do you think you would have beaten us all? “,” Amos said Thursday with a chuckle over the phone.

The two programs, and Amos for that matter, will finally have the chance to find out.

Earlier Thursday, UVa and JMU announced that the two schools will meet on the gridiron on September 9, 2023 at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville to mark the first meeting between the Hoos and Dukes since 1983.

A source told Daily Progress that UVa will pay JMU a $550,000 bond for doing the trek up the mountain.

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“It will definitely be a good game,” Amos said. “Everyone knows JMU is coming to play and I know I always waited for the opportunity to play against Virginia Tech or UVa when I was at JMU because we always said, ‘We run Virginia’ and the chance to play against either of those teams would have helped prove that so I know those guys at JMU are looking forward to that but I know UVa is probably looking forward to playing them to see how it goes also pass.

Amos, who recently signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, said his fellow Cavaliers always ask him whether or not he can score touchdowns against them like he did for the Dukes. He racked up five punt return scores throughout his time with JMU.

He said he answered he could, and eventually Amos proved himself with the Cavaliers by becoming a starter in their secondary while totaling 47 tackles and two interceptions. He said the difference was mostly in the size of the players, as UVa has more prototypical and taller athletes.

The dichotomy between the two football programs in recent years has existed due to the level of football played at each school. JMU was a powerhouse of FCS, winning the national championship in 2016 and returning to title play in 2017 and 2019. Around that time, the Dukes knocked out FBS East Carolina and took on other schools Power Five, NC State in 2018 and West Virginia in 2019. , teetering on the brink with games that were in question until the final minutes.

The Cavaliers are longtime members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and their success has fluctuated, but they could always boast of playing at the sport’s highest level during JMU’s rise to national prominence. in the other subdivision. UVa notably reached the Orange Bowl after winning the ACC’s Coastal Division in 2019.

But the 2023 fight pits the two teams on equal footing.

JMU, a former member of the Colonial Athletic Association, announced its departure from the league and FCS for the Sun Belt Conference last fall. The Dukes will debut their new conference this coming season and by the time they meet the Hoos, they should be at 85 scholarship players, just like the rest of the FBS.

“It will be a game to watch and it will answer a lot for JMU and UVa with who runs Virginia State,” said Amos, who also noted that Commonwealth recruits will be able to learn a lot from the game and if they are better placed. to play in the Power Five with the Cavaliers or better earn playing time right away in the Group of Five with the Dukes.

Both JMU and UVa needed non-conference games for 2023.

The Cavaliers had lined up non-championship competition for this season with former FBS Independents BYU and Liberty, who each joined conferences in the final round of realignment — BYU with the Big 12 and Liberty with Conference USA. This created scheduling conflicts forcing the Cougars and Flames to restructure their non-conference schedules, including the cancellation of some previously announced games.

Also in 2023, UVa has dates planned with FCS William & Mary (September 2) and a trip to Maryland on September 16.

JMU is the third Sun Belt team to make the Hoos’ future schedule list. UVa will host Old Dominion and Coastal Carolina this fall, host Coastal Carolina again in 2025 and make a visit to face the Chanticleers in 2024.

As for Amos, he said he won’t choose sides when JMU and UVa face off because each program has done so much for his football career.

“I’m going to be more rooting for the guys on every team,” he said.

About Betty J. Snyder

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